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FCC Chairman Not Excited About Verizon’s Plans to Throttle Unlimited Data Users

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Last week, we exclusively reported that Verizon planned to begin throttling the top 5% of unlimited data users with 4G LTE phones come October 1, a move which Verizon has since confirmed. The throttling is a part of Big Red’s “Network Optimization” policy, which up until now has only affected 3G customers with unlimited data. As you can imagine, this news didn’t exactly excite those with unlimited data plans who have been long-time Verizon customers. According to a letter sent to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t excited either. 

In the letter, chairman Wheeler doesn’t hold back, specifically noting that he is “troubled” by the announcement. He also points out that Verizon’s “Network Optimization” policy shouldn’t be used as a “loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams.” Wheeler calls it “disturbing” that Verizon would base its network management “on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.”

He then moved on to Verizon’s obligations under the 700MHz C Block rules that Big Red adopted when it purchased spectrum for its LTE network and how this new policy could be in violation. These rules include not denying, limiting, or restricting the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing. Wheeler makes a good point in suggesting that in no way do these rules specifically state that unlimited data users could be used as an exception.

The letter ends with Wheeler asking for responses to three specific questions. The first asks for an answer as to why Verizon is treating customers differently depending on their plan type. The second and third ask about the rationale behind Verizon’s brand new LTE network needing speed reductions and if they can justify this new policy consistent with those previously mentioned in the C Block rules.

It’s a juicy letter, though we aren’t sure if it will lead to anything just yet.

Here is the full letter:

Dear Mr. Mead:

I am deeply troubled by your July 25, 2014 announcement that Verizon Wireless intends to slow down some customers’ data speeds on your 4G LTE network starting in October 2014. Your website explained that this was an extension of your “Network Optimization” policy, which, according to your website, applies only to customers with unlimited data plans. Specifically, Verizon Wireless “manage Es] data connection speeds for a small subset of customers – the top 5% of data users on unlimited data plans” in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand. Verizon Wireless describes its “Network Optimization” as “network management.”

“Reasonable network management” concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its “network management” on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology. The Commission has defined a network management practice to be reasonable “if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service.” Such legitimate network management purposes could include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by end users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with an end user’s choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network. I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as “reasonable network management” a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for “unlimited” service.

Accordingly, please provide me with responses to the following questions:

  1. What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors? In particular, please explain your statement that, “If you’re on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted.”
  2. Why is Verizon Wireless extending speed reductions from its 3G network to its much more efficient 4G LTE network?
  3. How does Verizon Wireless justify this policy consistent with its continuing obligations under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, under which Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing on the C Block networks; how can this conduct be justified under the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet rules, including the transparency rule that remains in effect?

I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely, Tom Wheeler

Via:  GigaOm [PDF]
  • Vincenzo Roberto

    These bureaucratic fools should stay out of private matters and let the customers decide. Most of the “problems” are already due to a lack of competition which is cause by the regulations already in place. The last thing we need is the government further mucking things up. Sovietizing our internet access is not a good idea.

  • Willie D

    “These rules include not denying, limiting, or restricting the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing. Wheeler makes a good point in suggesting that in no way do these rules specifically state that unlimited data users could be used as an exception.” – No, but the issue here now lies in, unlimited data, being throttled, or limited in this case, is specifically mentioned by Verizon to only happen to people out of contract, using high bandwidth intense applications like streaming music, video, gaming. This in itself violates the rules, as it limits and restricts the ability of the end user to utilize the application. Unfortunately for Verizon, they agreed to the terms and conditions, they are free to sell off that 700Mhz spectrum that T-Mobile would be happy to purchase, and move to AWS only and go about locking down their XLTE network all they want.

  • Razma

    if they are gonna bother with the whole throttling thing, why not just make it after 15 or 20GB, it’s such crap to say that 4.7GB is high usage.

  • Alan

    This is just another in a myriad of less than customer friendly moves from Verizon. Remember when we could purchase a new phone every 21 months? Remember when the call center employees actually had knowledge of new products more than one day before the product’s launch? Remember when we weren’t charged for using our phones during a holiday? Remember when the direct store didn’t need to decieve customers to make a sale. Remember when unlimited data plans were touted by Verizon and available to all of its’ smart phone users at a single price.
    There are so many things wrong with this new trottling or “Optimization” idea. Aren’t smart phones designed to use data? Aren’t we told by, Verizon and others, of the benefits of downloading music and videos on our phones?
    Why 4.7 gigs? If this is the level that Verizon has deemed to be the top 5% of data users, Verizon should probably review the methodology it used to arrive at that number.
    According to several Verizon tech service agents that I have spoken with and many knowledeable technology experts , the real problem is that the LTE towers in the United States are not adquate enough to handle higher loads during peak traffic periods. Therefore we are asked, first with the introduction of its’ tiered data plans, and now through trottling to help Verizon fix its problems. Perhaps, Verizon should have resolved the issues with its low tech towers before it promotted the advantages of using your smartphone as a computer.
    To those who seem to delight in the punishment of higher data users, wait until Verizon begins charging more for phones for your two year upgrades or decides to charge more for each level of its’ tiered data plans or reduces corporate discounts or lowers its’ trottling level. Thinks things like this won’t happen? Wait.

    • mike_s123

      “Remember when we could purchase a new phone every 21 months? ”

      You used to be able to get a new phone every 9 months, by paying an extra $50-100 for a phone with a 1 year contract.

  • jgb

    Verizon has been trying to move those of us with the unlimited data into a usage-based plan since day one. Unless the FCC curbs this, they will eventually succeed.

  • Johnny_Fever

    Two things – #1 – this is only for looks; Tom Wheeler – FCC Chairman made millions of dollars working as a lobbyist for the cellphone and cable TV companies for years before this very questionable appointment; I doubt he’ll bite the hand that fed him for years. He will do NOTHING; mark my words.
    #2- The FCC is going to ‘steal’ the over the air UHF TV channels (again, like block C) and SELL them to the cellphone companies – this is bunk, as we lose free over the air signals while the bloated cell companies like Verizon get even MORE frequencies to SELL over-priced and throttled-down bandwidth.
    My most hated list: Oil Companies that export USA oil and import MidEastern oil and charge us more; #2: Cellphone Companies; #3 The FCC (except Mr. Pai).

  • s0nic69

    Seriously people, calm down! Stop getting mad at people who use more than 5gb a month. I pay for tethering on my phone and unlimited data, I have the right to do this. I hit between 5-15gb a month, and if anyone has a problem with that, too bad. I pay my bill monthly for services that I will use as I want. Idk where all this hate is coming from, when Verizon has always been the enemy, just a bunch of trolls pointing fingers for no reason.

    • Droid 1967

      geez man you probably watch more than 3 hours of tv from that paid service you have. I cant believe that just because they dont limit the amount of time you can watch or the channels you can watch that you paid for doesn’t mean you should!.

    • d-rock

      It’s not anger because they use more. It’s frustration to see such entitlement by these people. Verizon sells a service. They have chosen not to sell this service any longer. Instead of simply moving people over to the new service (with the option service termination), they let people use it for years. Sometimes grandfathers die and the unlimited grandfather is very old and tired and will be dead in a couple months.

      End entitlement and move on with your lives. It’s your dollar. You choose if you buy their service. It’s their service and they choose if they sell it to you. You can’t be mad at Verizon because they are a company making money. Verizon exists for one reason, to make money. Yes they are greedy. But everyone here whining is just as greedy or they wouldn’t be whining about losing their precious.

      You want more data usage
      Verizon wants more money

      It SUCKS…i know. It sucked losing unlimited a long time ago when I gave it up, but you’re not entitled to it. You just were allowed to use it longer.

      • s0nic69

        d-rock , it is anger, I have read some really crazy comments on any article that talks about unlimited data dying. Maybe because your not being called a this or that…that you don’t feel it.

        Ill stand here and admit that I use it at work to get around our firewall, at home when wifi wont reach the back yard, in the car for Pandora…but I pay for this service (I pay for 4g and tethering from Verizon). Yes it is a grandfathered service, the service belongs to Verizon and they can do whatever they want. The grandfathered ability belongs to me and ill end it when I want also, it is a 2 way street.
        What kind of fool would I be to just say…I feel guilty for being grandfathered in, I am going to pay more out of my pocket so that I can be like everyone else.

        • d-rock

          You and everyone(even the cheaters) are all within your right to keep it as long as you can. But many act like they are being cheated by Verizon because they are doing this. That displays entitlement. If they don’t like it, leave, but Verizon nor anyone else owes them anything.

  • Tim Shanks

    seems like Wheeler, being a former lobbyist would have been in contact with Verizon before this all went down and this had all been worked out before, and then sent Verizons CEO this letter to address the 3 top concerns that everyone on the internet has been griping about since the days of rooting your phone for unlimited tethering to save face with the public to make it appear the FCC cares… all the while verizon, comcast, time warner all funnel more money his way or his political parties pocket. god i sound like a conspiracy theorist, but i just finished watching house of cards… so excuse my pointless, baseless, unjustified rant.

    • Droid 1967

      wouldn’t it be nice if that was just a conspiracy thinking , unfortunately it is truly accurate 🙁

  • chris_johns

    i wish verizon did this a long time ago instead of getting rid of unlimited data plans theyd have a lot more 2year contract upgrade phone purchases…i dont give a f about the cheap jews running their house internet from their cell phones ruining unlimited data for everyone

  • Marc

    I am surprised Wheeler even cares… In the past he seemed to be the telco’s b#$&@!
    I could imagine that he is afraid of loosing his unlimited data with Verizon though!

  • Frawlz

    I’m under contract and I have unlimited data… where does that leave me?

    • d-rock

      You should be fine until your contract ends.

      • Frawlz

        That’s what I thought… thank you!

  • d-rock

    I think it’s so funny to see all these people bragging endlessly about having unlimited data and cheating the man and using 100GB/month, using it as home internet and tethering and torrenting, etc, finally see it coming to an end and are just crying like 2 year old babies having the cookie jar taken away from them.

    I’m sorry but I have ZERO sympathy as do most of us who aren’t you.

    You just can’t count yourself lucky to have had it as long as you have. You have to feel and act entitled about it.

    • vOc627

      I have unlimited data; it’s pretty awesome. 🙂

      • d-rock

        At least you’re grateful and not whining!

    • SkyCode

      how are we cheating the man its called unlimited for a reason.

      • fritzo2162

        I’m with ya! For lunch, I’m also hitting the Unlimited Chinese buffet down the street. I plan to keep packing food away until next Monday.

      • d-rock

        If you ONLY used it on your phone..and did not tether in any way, you’re not cheating. But most of the whiners are not using it this way. They are cheating by tethering and it was this abuse that brought it all down anyways.

        • SkyCode

          Why would I need to tether when I have a 5.5 inch screen?

          • d-rock

            I have no qualms with someone who’s not violating the TOS. They can complain and probably have more right than others, but the bottom line is that if you aren’t under contract, they can do what they want and you’re still lucky they didn’t take it away years ago. You should still count yourself fortunate and move on in life.

          • Droid 1967

            i don’t understand this why we are fortunate. If you were on Verizon at a point where they had unlimited and you dont now than that is your fault. Anyone who was on Verizon prior to them discontinuing it can still have unlimited if they dont that is because of their doing.

          • d-rock

            Because they could have just switched you over a long time ago to a different plan…yes you might leave, but where will you go? AT&T? They are just as bad with data. Tmobile? Good luck with coverage.

            So yes you’re lucky, not privileged like you come across.

          • Droid 1967

            well kinda. when i lived in colorado i actually used my tmobile phone more than the verizon cause verizon service sucked. Luckily i kept both as i kept verizon simply because of the unlimited. and now that i moved to here its actaully the only place i have been that has total crap 2g on tmobile. If it wasnt for tmobile back than My rom would of died long before i burned out simply because i never could of uploaded it. If tmobile ever upgrades the network here I would switch back in a heart beat if verizon dumped unlimited. Not sure what i will do if verizon dumps unlimited and tmobile hasnt upgraded by than But i would most likely switch to a gsm carrier.

        • Jason Brown

          tether is a feature thats provided on phones. might as well get rid of the option of tethering then…

          • d-rock

            And the core tether feature on many phones is blocked unless you pay for it. Besides the fact that it’s in the terms of service saying it’s not allowed to be used.

    • Chippah

      D-Rock Comment?

    • chris_johns

      THANK YOU…someone who gets it

  • shelooga

    ive got an idea: how about you jerks start using more data so IM not in the top 5%?? selfish aholes…
    oh and to d-rock: youre an idiot. move along sir

    • chris_johns

      you’re an idiot

      • shelooga


  • Chippah

    This FCC guy must be on a month to month unlimited data plan and is on our side.

  • Paul

    Sold my unlimited plan on eBay for $625 last week and joined T-Mobile. Best feeling ever.

    • chris_johns

      lol good for you

    • Destroythanet

      Nice. Yeah, I’m going to sell one of my Unlimited Data Lines this week. If anyone’s interested, let me know.

  • SamBoy

    So tired data plans isn’t limiting customers?

    • yankeesusa

      Nope, this throttling is only for 3g customers or while on a 3g tower and now for lte customers on the unlimited plans. All other plans don’t get throttled.

    • socarwolverine

      Well, since you agreed to it, no, you self limited.

      • SamBoy

        I have a unlimited plan and most people had no other choice

  • BoFiS

    Would be amazing if the FCC could stop this customer abuse by carriers

  • Luxferro

    Wait? A cell phone provide using false advertising about their unlimited plan…. no way. FCC just pulled it’s head out of the sand for a few minutes.

    ***They should not be able to use the word unlimited with an asterisk***

    • yankeesusa

      Technically unlimited means unlimited data, not unlimited data at the highest speed available. Tmobile has a plan where they slow you down after 5 gigabytes but they don’t limit the data or charge you extra when you go over, they also have the unlimited that gives you the fastest speed all the time no matter how much data you use. For now I don’t think verizon is limiting the data that unlimited plan users use.

      • Luxferro

        I get what you’re saying. But the marketing behind it is to purposely mislead their customers.

  • morgan boyle

    If i wasnt connected to my ChromeCast so much i wouldnt use wifi. either way, im not walking away from my Unlimited Data. its the only thing i have on them.

  • JT3

    I wonder how people would react if Verizon announced that people with “unlimited talk” plans, that are in the top 5% of voice callers by making, say, more than 10 voice calls per day, would suddenly be throttled to no more than 30 seconds per call? It would be a national uproar. However, make it about Internet data, and that’s okay? Interesting.

    The reality is that all of the major carriers screwed up, promising “unlimited” data back when the technology limited us to such slow speeds that it wasn’t an issue. They simply failed to realize how that might play out 2… 3… or even 5 years down the road, and now that speeds are such that someone can actually benefit from an “unlimited” plan, they don’t like it.

    Unfortunately, with the system here in the U.S., where the lobbyists have all the power, and the carriers have enough money to buy a whole lot of lobbyists, our government simply rolls over and lets them get away with whatever they want. It’s sad.

    Having said that, I left Verizon long ago, giving up my unlimited data, because I simply got sick of their business practices. I’m not a heavy user, and my current 10Gb/Mo. on another carrier suits my needs. Still, it isn’t right. Make all the excuses you want about how people are abusing the system, but the reality is that Verizon sold “Unlimited” data as a gimmick, taking advantage of consumers who didn’t know better, and now that technology has turned the tables, they’re suddenly the victims. Defend them all you want, but don’t you dare feel sorry for them. They didn’t feel sorry for their “customers” when the advantage was theirs.

    • yankeesusa

      Man, that voice throttling is a great point. Of course data in itself is a whole other beast but its a great point nonetheless. In the end verizon will most likely loose more customers than keep them if they got rid of unlimited completely. Those customers on unlimited are already paying full price for their phones so it won’t be hard for them to buy a phone and switch over to the att 10gb plan which is a great plan.

    • That is a great point. Today, data is the real cash cow, but what happens in 5 years if for some reason voice calls pick back up in popularity? You can’t think that Verizon would continue to allow unlimited voice calls.

      • Jason Brown

        SERIOUSLY! what are they going to do when they switch to VoLTE?? people w/ tiered data plans are going to be in a real bind.

    • Michael

      Last time I checked all of the wireless carriers where business’ and not charities. They don’t care that you don’t like the way they do business, they care about the bottom line.

      Back when 2g was the best they could do they had tiered data and unlimited, and voice and sms/mms was the cash cow. Now when we’re at a point when we can use different services to make voice calls and send messages, data is the new cash cow. From a business standpoint it makes complete sense to change what brings the CEO a new Yacht and Ferrari every 6 months.

    • Jason Brown

      EXACTLY! you make a great point. if data plans weren’t as much of a “cash cow” as they are today and it was the “talk” plans that brought in the income streams then they would limit that. i remember back in the day when people were trying to save on minutes and not have any overages that they would call sprint and complain about having “dropped calls” to have minutes added to their accounts to increase their monthly voice minutes.

  • Sporttster

    It is about time someone in Government stood up for the consumer! It’s already bs that they can claim unlimited, some of these companies, and throttle service so badly after a few gigs use that it makes it virtually useless and get away with it. Let me clue you in here: saying unlimited but having a 5 gig ‘limit’ before throttling kicks in is not true unlimited. 5gigs and then severe throttling is a LIMIT!

    • Jason Brown

      couldn’t have said it better myself. along the similar lines are the directv dvr’s that you PURCHASE for yourself but then have to pay an additional monthly fee just to use YOUR OWN dvr that your purchase ON TOP of your monthly subscription fee. cant wait until the day arrives where that monthly fee is removed.

  • dizel123

    Yeah, this kinda sucks. I’m pretty sure we know how this is gonna go. FCC gets involved, Verizon says Ok , screw it, we’ll just get rid of unlimited plans altogether.
    Thanks Wheeler.
    BTW, I’m not sure you know what “exclusively” means.

  • The hypocrite is actually on the consumer side here but on the corporation side when it comes to LAN lines? Make up your mind. You can’t be against discrimination of two different plans on the same wireless network but be in favor of discrimination plans when it comes to the same LAN (FiOS, AT&T, Comcast, TWC).

  • Mickey A Valentine

    FCC has a lot on their hands these days. Big fish go’na battle it out.

  • mcdonsco

    Could go many different ways:

    A) Verizon could ignore him (for now)
    B) Verizon could capitulate
    C) Verizon could say “Alright then, nothing says we have to continue offering unlimited data, we’ll just kill the service all together then”

    Knowing Verizon, it will be A or C

    • SilentPatriot

      Ignoring him will get their red little rump in the ringer along with financial and legal sanctions including loss of spectrum. Killing off unlimited data will affect 1/5 of their subscriber base and invite numerous lawsuits. Only way I see for them to save face here is back off.

      • mcdonsco

        What’s stopping them from just saying as of some future date month to month unlimited data accounts will be migrated to a share everything 8gb plan?

        • hkklife

          8GB plan? Unlikely! More like 4 or 6GB. Remember,according to VZW, the “vast majority of unlimited data users only use less than 2GB/month”

          • mcdonsco

            Not that I priced it, I didn’t, but I picked something close to what those users would be paying already (completely forgetting I might pay $120/month (unlimited everything), but likely there are those paying much less for 450 min or something with unlimited too).

            So, my bad…sort of…

          • Cael

            They’ll bump users to 2 GB by default. 29.99 for unlimited = 30.00 for 2 GB

        • trlkly

          The same thing that stopped them from doing that before. The contracts they originally made don’t allow them to do that. To be more specific, that’s the deal they worked out with the FCC when they were sued for violating open network rules by limiting tethering.

          If Verizon could get rid of all unlimited plans, they clearly would. Why try to use a loophole when you could do it directly?

    • Finire

      You forgot the most obvious solution. Verizon could pay him off, just like the lobbyist he used to be.

  • Brooks1

    I use less than 4.7GB a month because I have to. I’m not blessed with unlimited. For those who use 50GB a month….. lay off the internet a bit! 🙂 Are there some legitimate reasons for that much usage on a cellular plan, maybe, but many of you use that much because you can.
    As for Verizon throttling your speeds, well unfortunately your contract with them is up, and they have lived up to the 2 year agreement, you had unlimited data while the agreement was in place. You are now month to month, and they can probably drop you anytime they want (or require you to sigh some sort of agreement).
    I know I’m going to get flamed for expressing this view of the unlimited crowd, but that’s the way it is. If you don’t sign a lease on your apartment, you are month to month, and your landlord can raise the rent whenever he wants, or ask you to move out. This is really no different.
    So be happy that many of you will NOT be throttled, and that you have had this great perk that many of us don’t have for so long,

    • Chris

      Streaming video and music eats up a lot of data. As with Verizon background bloatware services

      • kali bred

        It sure does streaming video services and listening to some play music got me to about 20 or so gigs in about 3 days one month streaming consumes a lot of data hell 3 hours of Hulu alone got me to five gigs

    • M3D1T8R

      I just renewed my contract a few days ago, it now goes until July 2016, and yes that’s on my unlimited line. So how do I fit in to your strange warped view of things? Curious.

    • yankeesusa

      Maybe not 50gb but hitting around 12 to 15gb is easy when you watch netflix on your phone and then when lte is running and your watching videos or just using regular data apps it affects data pretty quick. Not to mention all the bloatware on the verizon phones that also drain data. I no longer have verizon but with my current provider I am already at 11.75gb. That’s only watching netflix once in a while during my lunch break and streaming music throughout the day. So yes, it is easy to go over 15gb

  • Chris

    Verizon just needs a new ceo with brains to stop this nonsense. Their current ceo still sees the cellular phone market as of it were 2003

    • g2gsr

      They made $3,600,000,000 profit in Q2 (3 months). They will never get a new CEO at that rate! He is doing exactly what a CEO is supposed to do; increase users while increasing profits.

  • gcforreal

    I believe Verizon has already started throttling in certain apps YouTube sucks big time even I’d you have full signal . funny because other services don’t suffer only the official YouTube app mobile YouTube and third party players work fine but the official YouTube app on 4g is almost unusable lately.. Has anyone else notified this ?

    • amosk

      Yes! YouTube will crap out on 4g. Switch to WiFi and it works fine. That is worth full bars too

      • Nick

        my youtube app has sucked on both 4g and wifi on my phone and wifi on my tablet since the update where the quality changed from hd/sd to specific frame rates. i can use it for maybe 1 or 2 videos before 10am but then i get buffering on 240p and 144p even if i pause to let it buffer

    • Brian P.

      I found that if you just delete the cache and reopen YouTube it works perfectly. Once I notice a slow down, delete cache again and back to normal.

  • Quint

    Well, Verizon, since you hate users with unlimited data plans, just kill the plans. Problem solved.

    • Ryan Dombroski

      They cant kill the plans – They will get hit with lawsuits for that

      • Ethan T

        What is preventing them from canceling grandfathered plans where your contract has ended? I understand why they wouldn’t change the terms of people who are still under contract, but it seems like there’s nothing that requires them to give you service X forever and ever just because you have it now.

        I ask this seriously as an out-of-contract unlimited data person who REALLY wants to keep unlimited data forever. At this point I WISH I could get “stuck” in a new 2-year contract because it really means trapping VZW in another 2 years of giving me unlimited data 😀

        • M3D1T8R

          If you have another line like a basic phone (or smartphone) without an upgrade, swap the upgrade (from your unlimited line) to that line, do an upgrade, then if you want change your service back to normal basic phone. Your unlimited line contract will now be extended another two years.
          Technically they could still screw you over and cancel your plan/service but that means you’ll get out of your ETF. I’m sure they don’t want to do that and will only do it as a very last resort. So the above is your best option. Or maybe look into the Best Buy method (if it still works) if you don’t have other lines available.

        • Ian

          I wish it were this way. However if you actually read your contract Verizon can jump ship at any time and terminate your service. The contract is really about limiting your ability to do anything except pay them money.

        • Ryan Dombroski

          Valid Point and I get what you are saying – Not sure how many people it would affect but I don’t see them canceling everyones service because I think that would cause problems they don’t want to deal with – I want to keep my unlimited but it doesn’t look like ill be with them much longer

          and there has to be some “rule” they are violating because the 4G and XLTE network run on the 700MHz Spectrum, which in my understanding means they can not throttle or limit access to us

  • jim

    I find it hard to believe that 95% use less than 4.7 gigs a month

    • Big EZ

      My wife started out using less than a half a gig on 3g. Now that she has 4g she’s between 3-5 gigs a months with very little usage. Some music streaming and Facebook is mainly all she uses.

    • My uncle, aunt, and 3 teenage cousins all share a 6GB plan. No idea how they do it.

  • (*sits with popcorn*) {{^_^}}

  • hoosiercub88

    Ding ding.. Like I said from the moment I read about the extension of the “network optimization” policy. This isn’t about data hogs, this is about money, and Verizon wanting to squeeze more of it from it’s customers who’ve locked themselves into a good deal, unlike the plans VZW currently offers new or renewing subscribers.

  • KMS_Alex

    Maybe a year ago some guy on hear was bragging about using an average of 50 GB/month. I said that he was the problem, he is the reason there getting rid of unlimited data. He laughed at me and told me I was stupid and he would have unlimited data for the rest of his life because he would purchase his phones outright. I said that the current situation was temporary and Verizon would get him sooner or later. From that point him and about 10 unlimited fan boys jumped on my case talking me I had no idea what I was talking about. “are you stupid! Just don’t take the subsides phone! Duuuuh.” well I do love a good excuse to say I told you so.

    I told you so.

    Furthermore this Is fine by me. By abusing unlimited you really do make it worse for other users on the network, the cellular network is not designed to replace your home Internet. I left at the end of my Verizon contract for t-mobile $30-5GB”unlimited” nexus 5. Even with tethering have never broke 5GB. If you need 50 GB a month you should pay more then me because your slowing me down.

    • hoosiercub88

      But if I want to pay out the nose to use 50 Gb in a month.. that’s ok. Explain to me how it’s different please.

      Edit: Can’t wait for this one..

      • KMS_Alex

        If you pay more then they’ve made more and can invest it into making the network more dense. They really will do it if they have to. They didnt add band 4 lte for kicks. They added it because parts of NY were 1mbs down on full bats of band 13 because it was fully utilized.

        • hoosiercub88

          So Verizon Wireless is just barely getting by financially right? I mean.. it’s not like don’t rake in gross billions in profit every single year.

          I’m just saying that the person paying $400 a month to use LTE in that kind of chunk is slowing you down no more or no less than someone on Unlimited using the magically BS 4.7Gb number.. that’s where the logic is flawed here. This isn’t about data, this is about money.

          Stop your self-fulfilling prophecy and buying into data being finite like the rest of the sheep.

          • KMS_Alex

            Oh my god I hate that word “sheep” people you the word to disregarded facts! You simply don’t like the truth and dont care because like an impatient 10 year all you want all your data!

            Verizon is a for profit public company, they are not going to spend more money on the network to improve it when they can level the playing field for free like it should be. BTW last time I checked the last few quarters have been some of there worst.

        • M3D1T8R

          Hahaha!!! Such remarkable naive ignorance.
          Really, I want to upvote this comment as the funniest I’ve read on here in months.

          • KMS_Alex

            That I read. Please tell me why I’m wrong, are you on the board of directors? Do you know for fact what Verizons actions would be if they got thousands of people signing up for 50gb/month? No you don’t and any statement otherwise is you guessing, my guess based on past behavior is when the network slows down they spend money to speed it up.

          • M3D1T8R

            “When the network slows down they spend money to speed it up.” And that’s exactly what they should be doing now. Instead, they’re penalizing some of their most loyal long time customers. Why? Because the less they spend on providing the service we pay them for, the more profits they make each quarter. That’s the beginning and the end of it. They provide the minimum amount of service (in Network upgrades) necessary to maintain and grow their profits as much as possible.

          • KMS_Alex

            Decent argument, they may infact get rid of the unlimited guys then do next to nothing to upgrade.

            The thing is its not fair, people who still have unlimited are paying less for the service there using then others in teared plans. Saying there loyal customers is… Well I look at them more ad abusing customers.

            There looking at it like, we can make the network better by spending almost no money (booting unlimited users) or we can spend more money and keep unlimited users. It just makes more business sense. Now if all those guys jump in to a 50gb/month plan then they would actually use the money to increase capacity.

            I should say I think my Verizon are an evil company in some respects, I left them after all. But on this issue I can’t fault them.

    • M3D1T8R

      You’re [still] a moron. Verizon would be still trying to get rid of Unlimited regardless of what people use, including myself (I average over 50GB/mo) and everyone else on Unl. It’s all _only_ about them making more money by selling data at their current ripoff rate of $10+ per GB.
      People who signed up for and have continued paying for Unlimited, deserve to get what they pay for. And we’re now effectively paying $20/mo more than before (effectively bumping up unlimited from $30 to $50) because we no longer get the subsidy discount, and have to pay full price for phones.

      • KMS_Alex

        I didn’t read your argument past the first line where you insult me. I don’t understand why people on the Internet feel there are no social rules.

        • M3D1T8R

          You base your whole post on how you were right a year ago when everyone who called you out on your idiocy was wrong, insultingly saying “I told you so” etc. Then when I post a response addressing directly exactly that issue, which you brought up, you say I’m insulting you so you won’t read my post. Fine by me, enjoy your one sided 6th grade level discourse. But if you can’t handle a little criticism, maybe don’t come on here wrongly gloating at people. “Social rules”, right, listen how full of yourself you are.

          • KMS_Alex

            I wasn’t just say you were, your were. You open your argument with your an idiot so I didn’t read father. Social rules I’m get at are perhaps something your mother never thought you. Don’t feel bad most people on the Internet chose not to act civilized. To your argument I being a bit full of my self but I can hardly help it after a year It feel good to be right.

            In your second post I responded to you but you’ve said nothing to my points.

          • M3D1T8R

            But you aren’t right. Not before, not now.

          • KMS_Alex

            Well that’s a great argument (P.S. Anyone looking into this he did respond to his other post after I called him on not responding to me). But no I absolutely was. I said Verizon would come for unlimited users sooner or later and they have.

          • Droid 1967

            here is where you are wrong! You do realize everything on the internet is always there and can be found! I have on my hardrive 20 tweets from Verizon stating that if we payed full price for our phones we could keep UNLIMITED data. This is as binding as a contract at worse we have Verizon give us back the full price of the phone, So no your wrong they cant just state sorry its gone without repercussions. I have already sent these copies to tom wheeler. And i dont abuse it i get much better speed with 4g but i have cable internet at home I do use the phone for what it is capable of and dont really pay attention to what i use cause i have unlimited and dont need to. I would rather go back to 3g speed and keep unlimited. If you have come to verizon after unlimited was cancelled than im sorry. If you gave up unlimited to save a few bucks than dont cry about us taking advantage of what we payed for! NFL mobile streams live football games its offered on verizon we pa 6 bucks a month probably more this year. and it eats data like crazy its worthless without unlimited If i have wifi available ill watch the game on tv!

          • KMS_Alex

            Oh tweets are legally binding, cool because other company’s have never gone back on there word. I know I’m coming off as an ass hole hear but I just don’t see big red losing this battle in court or anywhere that matters.

          • Droid 1967

            yes tweets are legally binding , they are from employees of a company on a company site replying to questions from customers at a site stated purpose is tech support. In the big picture of course they wont loose the war they have too much money but they can and will continue to lose battles along the way. But people have to stick up for their rights not just lay down and say oh well they are big i guess were screwed. Verizon has made a couple announcements in the past that lit up the internet and they backed off. If people stand up in masses they do listen, if you just roll over and take it than thats what you get.

    • Chris

      How can you abuse a service that’s named unlimited?

      • KMS_Alex

        How can you be so knowledge about how cellular networks work (I asumme some your spend time reading Android blogs) and not know that it’s not possible to support truly unlimited with today’s networks.

        Also if your braking you agreement by illegal tethering or using the sim in a hot spot to power your hole home that is legally even abusing it.

        What if you went to a Buffy and snuck food out in a purse and sold it on the curb? Would that not be abusing there unlimited food service?

        • M3D1T8R

          You’re wrong on all but the last point, so I’ll start there and go backwards.
          I don’t know what Buffy is but I’m assuming you mean an all you can eat place, yeah that case would be stealing.
          But using your paid for service, unlimited data, however you wish, is not illegal. In fact it’s explicitly stated that it is legal and that such uses as tethering can not be restricted – as part of the LTE spectrum purchase agreement Verizon made.
          And you’re wrong about your first point too. Current networks absolutely can support unlimited data. As a matter of facr, that’s _exactly_ how they are designed. There’s no cut off point where after transmitting X amount of data a tower and its connected fiber cease to function.
          It’s all about squeezing the consumer for ever more money, in exchange for ever less service. Then they have people like yourself buying into their less for more business plan and sadly even doing their propagandizing for them. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you aren’t a paid Verizon shill, as if you were I’d expect you to not be quite so bad at it.

          • KMS_Alex

            You know that the lift on tethering restrictions doesn’t apply retroactively to old plans, its free and legal with new contracts not the unlimited ones singed years ago.

            The problem is not overall data transmitted (how consumers care about data) but how many bytes per second a tower can handle. For most Verizon band 4 towers that tops out around 80mb/s, I believe that is a limit on the back haul but even if they up the back haul there is a limit to how many bites per second the spectrum they have can handle with current tech. Though for Verizon I’d say back haul is more of a factor.

  • lao

    I have unlimited data with Verizon…. Ihave two lines and both pay for the unlimited hotspot………I used 200 gigs on avergage… This seems like more of a distraction for the FCC sense they didn’t have the moxy to make sure their 2010 agreement was upheld

  • AndrewScottRox

    Bark, bark, bark….no bite

  • tech247

    Wheeler wrote that letter??? Kinda surprised judging by his past behavior…

  • fish1552

    Oh great. Another thread where we get to listen to all the data hogs complain about being throttled when 99.9% won’t even meet the requirements to even BE throttled in the first place. Did any of you actually READ Kellex’s post that said the customers had to meet ALL the requirements on the list in order to be throttled? Just because you HAVE unlimited doesn’t mean you’re getting throttled. Jesus!

    • PoisonApple31

      Not to mention Unlimited Data users aren’t the only people buying phones at Full Retail.

    • Tony Spencer
    • trumpet444

      I’m not self-righteous and/or a data hog. I don’t tether at home because I pay for home internet. It is faster and more reliable. I only tether when I am not around a wifi connection and would rather use Chrome or Gmail on a tablet and not a small phone screen. I don’t tether to use Netflix, Youtube, or anything else data intensive but I very easily go over the 4.7GB a month listed in one of the requirements for throttling. It’s not that hard to burn through more than 150MB every day of the month. If you stream Spotify on the fly, on your way to and from work, that could easily get to 60MB itself in one day. Throw in Chrome, Gmail, Flipboard, Podcasts, the occasional Facebook, G+ and Instagram browsing and I can get to 200MB in one day without trying. I would argue that most everyone with unlimited fits the requirements for ‘throttling’.

      • PoisonApple31

        If you’re not in a “congested” area, you aren’t affected.

        • trumpet444

          I live and work in a large Metro area. I’ll pretty much be screwed 24/7. Congested area could also mean anything they want it to

        • Tony Spencer

          But who gets to say what amounts to congested?

        • Tillmorn

          I hate to say it, but I highly doubt there will be any area that Verizon does not consider “congested” come October.

          • Ryan Dombroski

            Knowing Verizon every area will magically become congested!

      • Tony Spencer

        I’m not against business use, but I think the biggest users are the ones that are exempt.
        From Verizon
        Am I affected by Network Optimization?
        Only a small percent of customers will be affected. To be affected, you must be a data customer on an unlimited data plan who is among the top 5% of data users. Network Optimization of 4G LTE devices does not apply to government customers or business customers who have signed a major account agreement.

        • Tony Spencer

          I know here in Ohio a lot of state employees use Verizon hotspots while working out of their vehicles. They have to burn up data like crazy. So I venture to guess that the top 5% doesn’t include figuring in those who are exempt.

          • hoosiercub88

            From what I’ve read.. business/government accounts are not exempt either. They’ll be getting throttled as well.

          • Tony Spencer

            This is copied from Verizon.

            Am I affected by Network Optimization?
            Only a small percent of customers will be affected. To be affected, you must be a data customer on an unlimited data plan who is among the top 5% of data users. Network Optimization of 4G LTE devices does not apply to government customers or business customers who have signed a major account agreement.

            It’s under
            ANSWERS: Frequently Asked Questions


    • soccerburn55

      Some people live in crowded cities like LA. Every tower is congested so they will be throttled all the time.

  • sski66

    Nice start TW & if they keep trying to screw with the data that we all paid for, & the expensive phones we all bought to keep the unlimited data, bite there freakin’ heads off.

  • Gary Graf

    I look forward to their response, too, Tom Wheeler

  • TopXKiller
  • He makes a great point. Verizon throttling only unlimited data users who are also among the top 5%, is not going to make a huge difference when towers are experiencing load. Verizon should have a fair policy in place to either limit data use to all users when on a congested network, or simply use their buckets of money to improve the network to handle the excess load.

    I work in IT, and when we run into similar issues we can’t be restricting our users, we have to upgrade our infrastructure to deal with the additional users and load.

    • PoisonApple31

      I also work in IT and we aren’t going to upgrade our infrastructure so our users can stream music, stream Netflix, watch YouTube and download massive files that don’t pertain to their function in the company. We have separate public WiFi for that crap.

      • Josh

        Your company doesn’t advertise those as uses of the product it offers, does it?

        • PoisonApple31

          And Verizon isn’t taking any of those things away from you either.

          • Josh

            Not until October.

          • PoisonApple31

            It’s not like you are getting throttled for the whole billing cycle, many won’t even be throttled at all.

          • Josh

            If I use more than 4.7GB and reside in a “congested” area, then I’d be throttled for at least two billing cycles in these sites per VZW’s website.

          • PoisonApple31

            If the area is congested 24/7, then you’d think Verizon would put some money into the infrastructure.

          • Josh

            You would think so; instead, we give that money to our executives instead of us lowly employees 🙁

          • PoisonApple31

            Well if it was Sprint they’d be putting money into the infrastructure, they have been “improving” their network for years. 😛

          • Josh

            And they can handle unlimited*!

      • We block streaming music, Netflix, YouTube, and P2P, torrents, and certain file hosting sites. I’m talking about files getting larger (Photoshop, images, internal media, etc.), more users on the network, and more devices each user is bringing in or has been issued. Even without streaming media, there are more and more users who need to do more, and rely more on the wireless network.

        • PoisonApple31

          Your first comment was rather generic. My apologies. I work in healthcare, I understand what you are getting at. Images and video are huge files in the patient record.

          • I completely understand, I work in a school system, so we have more and more students and teachers bringing in devices. Even though we block media, it’s the number of tasks all of our users are doing. The utilization of devices has increased dramatically, from only using it for research, to using it almost all day long. As everything moves towards the cloud and everything becomes more bandwidth intensive, it’s only going to get worse.

            Verizon knows this, and they can’t rely on simply giving customers less and less data at higher costs to stop people from utilizing the network.

        • JooSki

          So you are saying they should limit your bandwidth even though you are the end user paying for the service? The last i checked, at a business they are paying employees to do a job and to not surf the net and download files and stream music. If they throttled your internet connection at your house you would have a problem with that correct? That’s what i thought.

          • No, I’m saying Verizon should not throttle users, they should use their insane revenue to keep their network up to par with today’s usage requirements.

            That is correct though, a business pays their employees to work. And they can not work efficiently if the wireless architecture can’t allow them to do their jobs without imposing heavy restrictions on them. If you finished reading my reply, in my environment we already block streaming media, it’s the number of devices and how much more they are all being utilized for legitimate uses that’s causing bottlenecks.

      • Chris

        Spoken like a true IT was nerd

  • Cael

    Yassss!!!! Get em FCC!

    • trumpet444

      I’m glad you have confidence that something will actually be done.

  • John

    Some lobbyist just preordered a new private jet

  • WalterWhite

    So glad I sold both my grandfathered lines last year. 😀

  • SilentPatriot

    Hahaha! Big Red been caught red-handed.

  • Brian P.

    Is anyone else concerned that pressure from the FCC may persuade Verizon Wireless to discontinue unlimited all together? I hate the thought of being throttled, however I could tolerate the possibility of being throttled occasionally much easier than having to settle with pricy tiered data plans! I’m afraid once again this is a no win for us the consumer!

    • I’m concerned about the pressure also, how would they enforce this? Or can they even force people off unlimited?

      • middlehead

        You’re not under contract with them, they’re not under contract with you. They could terminate your line at any time. They don’t do it yet because they don’t want to piss off that many users at once, but there’s no legal reason they can’t.

        • Dusty

          How do you know they are not under contract? It is still possible to have unlimited data and still be under contract.

          • PoisonApple31

            He’s making the assumption that no one would be complaining if they had unlimited data under contract because the network optimization does not affect those under contract with unlimited data.

          • Dusty

            Ah, icic. So the whole throttling is only applied to those with unlimited with no contract. So for me ( i am under contract w/ unlimited) shouldn’t be affected by this new policy?

          • Dan

            you quit being able to upgrade on the unlimited line and keep unlimited at the end of June 2012, so just over 2 years ago, which means anyone that did it before that time that line is no longer on contract. I believe that there may have been some business line exceptions after that time, but for us normal folk that was it.

          • soccerburn55

            We have 3 unlimited lines under contract till 2015. 1 unlimited no contact and a dumb phone under contract. We just switch upgrades with the dumb phone and switch the lines back. It’s not that hard.

          • Guest

            I have 2 unlimited lines and our contract ends next year. I’ve been transferring my upgrade to the tiered data lines and been able to upgrade while keeping my unlimited data plans. So simply put, what you just said up there is wrong.

          • Big EZ

            My line is unlimited data and under contract for another 1 year 11 months and 2 weeks.

          • Yup, I’m under contract on my single unlimited line until next fall.

  • Howard Lin


  • teebone

    Ok Verizon read this BIG line in the obligations under the 700MHz C Block rules that you adopted when you purchased spectrum for your LTE network and how this new policy would be in violation.
    (b) Use of devices and applications. Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network. I know I will sue you for the breach if you proceed and it messes up my tethering for Netflix and the like 🙂

  • arthur rugenstein

    Your move Verizon

  • teebone

    GO TOM…hopefully they will back down on their plan so we can use our phones like how we want to!!!!!

  • monkeybutts

    In other words Wheeler wants a check for a new summer house.

    • Kevin

      Couldn’t of said it better.

      • Josh

        I bet you could have.

        • Lee McLaurin

          Haha. I see what you did.

        • Big EZ

          Couldn’t’ve said it better myself

          • Josh


  • Mark Snider

    As an unlimited data user on Verizon, who pays a large monthly amount for the “privilege,” I am glad someone who might be able to make a difference is actually speaking up about this. Whether anything happens or not is a different story, but at least make Verizon explain how more than 5gb capped data is magically different than more than 5gb unlimited data.

    • Tony Spencer

      It’s their way to get customers with unlimited data who use less than 5GB to switch to the share everything plan. I’ll just hang on to my unlimited a little longer.

    • Jason B

      Their answer will be some convoluted reason, but if you read between the lines, it’s one thing, and one thing only: MONEY (increased profit margins).

  • ROR1997

    “you have truly unlimited data”
    “okay, you have unlimited data forever as long as you’re with us”
    “okay you have unlimited data until you upgrade your device”
    “okay, thank you for paying full price for all your phones to keep your unlimited data. Now we will throttle it”

    • Big EZ

      Only thing left is to force us off. I hope that doesn’t come for a while (or ever) and that T-Mobile will expand their coverage by then.

      • Jon
        • Big EZ

          Yes, but I said I hope their network expands before Verizon forces us off of unlimited data. At least T-Mobile offers unlimited data. We have to jump through hoops to keep it on Verizon, and it’s only a matter of time before it “isn’t compatible with these new phones” and we’re forced off.

        • New_Guy

          Some of us pay extra for true unlimited. I pay a little extra to remain unthrottle on tmo. I don’t mind it since I get great reception here in San Diego.

        • Turb0wned

          No they don’t. I can’t believe how many articles I read about tmobile throttling or not offering unlimited data. It’s false, I’ve never been throttled and they offer a truly unlimited data plan.

          • rsohne

            Swapped to T-Mobile from Verizon 2 months ago and never looked back. Yeah, the service isn’t everywhere but my life isn’t so important I need data every minute of the day. Phone calls work everywhere in an emergency and WiFi calling is excellent. For the first time in many years on cellular I don’t feel like I am getting screwed by my cellular carrier and we save 60.00 dollars over Verizon with free music streaming.

          • Rob

            You are making me feel better about the potential jump to T-Mo. I am still on unlimited Verizon data with my G2 but lately the network has been wonky. Dropping to 3G, speeds ranging from 20+ mbps down to 3 mbps, uploads anywhere from 0.x to 8+ mbps. I feel like they’re already throttling me.

        • JRomeo

          T-Mobile only throttles their “1gb unlimited data” and “3gb unlimited data” and “5gb unlimited data” plan users………. They do not throttle their unlimited data plan users.

        • Rob

          Check again, there is an update from T-Mobile.

      • droidify

        That was my thought. At first I was excited to read this but then I thought, what’s gonna keep VZW from just cancelling their unlimited plans for those no longer under contract? Huge companies that can afford to throw money (customers) away don’t like being told what to do.

      • John Davids

        OMFG this. I want on T-Mobile SO BAD but their coverage and speeds in my area are non-existent. Comon magenta!

  • landon

    This is what he is saying to Verizon

  • Frettfreak

    So this a$$hole is totally ok with time warner Comcast merger, totally ok with Netflix paying to not be purposefully slowed down, but not ok with this? I mean, this is the right line of thinking but obviously there are faults in his line of reasoning with everything.

    • 213ninja

      he’s a verizon customer…with some pull.

      • jimt

        He probably has a Verizon unlimited phone and thinks Verizon is screwing up his unlimited accounts.

    • Shawn Spring

      My guess it has something to do with the the block of spectrum that was purchased by Verizon, from the FCC, under a very specific set of guidelines of what they can/can’t do with that spectrum. Wired versus wireless service. But, to be honest, I’m a layman.

  • Dan

    So this also would seem to imply that their policy on not allowing unlimited users to have hotspot functionality on LTE, without paying a buttload extra for the same data, is bogus due to the C block rules as well. never understood how they could justify that one.

    • 213ninja

      i’d tend to agree but i imagine there is some loophole for tethering

  • jimcvit

    People try to compare this to Net Neutrality. It’s slightly different. VZW’s obligations are because of 47CFR17.16 specifically (c)(1)

    • hhm

      would you explain it a little more clearly to us?

      • jimcvit


        Net Neutrality is a little difference than VZW’s C Block agreement. Net Neutrality applies to Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, etc. They, and other ISPs, sued the FCC saying that FCC overstepped their bounds in how traffic should be delivered on the Internet. FCC reclassified Internet from a pubic utility. Hence, the carriers won their suit and Net Neutrality was pretty much thrown out. That’s why there was a huge push to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, and then FCC could control how ISPs treat traffic.

        In 2008, since spectrum was being freed from TV signals transitioning from analog to digital, the FCC auctioned those frequencies off to the highest bidder. Google, in their infinite wisdom, wanted a free and open network. So, they bid on the spectrum called C Block which was the most valuable. Google petitioned the FCC to put in certain “openness rules, and the winning party to the auction would have to abide by. VZW outbid Google for the spectrum, and, by doing so, had to agree to certain rules that go along with it. That’s why a VZW LTE phone is unlocked. VZW is deciding to follow certain parts of the law and not others.

        The other provisions stats, and I paraphrase, that any application, any device be permitted on this network as long as they subscribe to certain technological standards. Also, the licensee of this C Block frequency is not permitted to deny, restrict or limit access to the network except for reasonable network management (meaning: security). This is the gist of the Tom Wheeler’s letter to VZW asking why they are restricting unlimited data plans when they’re not permitted based on this.

        The other wireless carriers like AT&T and Sprint are not licensees of this specific 700 MHz spectrum like VZW so they don’t have to play by the same rules. Now, you may have read that VZW sold some 700 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile. Yes, they did, but it’s the A Block they sold and not the C Block. So VZW has to abide by these rules.

        These rules are codified into law. They are part of the Code of Federal Regulation to which FCC was referring. The rules are specifically 47 CFR 27.16. You can read the full rule here. It’s not a very long read. Take the time and brush up on it. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title47-vol2/pdf/CFR-2011-title47-vol2-sec27-16.pdf

        This is why FCC Chair is going after VZW: because it truly is the law and has not been struck down and the FCC can rule in this matter.

        Sorry for such a long explanation, but I hope this helps.

        • antinorm

          What’s to stop VZW from saying that throttling heavy users falls under “reasonable network management”?

          • Tillmorn

            The fact that they are only enforcing this on unlimited data users, and not any of their tiered plan users with 6GB+ plans who frequently go over the 4.6GB stipulation they are using as a “top 5%” indicator. In fact, I’d be curious to see if this top 5% of their’s includes ONLY smartphone/tablet/hotspot usage for calculating the average, or if it includes ALL of their mobile devices, especially feature phones and what not (in essence, including zero usage in their calculations to drop the supposed top percentage significantly lower). Because if they are pulling that, it’s no wonder that the magic number they arrived at was under 5 gigs.

          • jimcvit

            Well, according to the FCC, that means not throttling but the technical management of the network and not a loophole to throttle or charge more.

  • Jeremy Gross

    he must be a verizon unlimited user….

  • droidrazredge

    Tom Wheeler is going to become the top trending person on twitter and facebook now.

  • jak_341

    Yay for big government again! /sarcasm

    • Vanja Dolas

      Who else will curb the get greed of our corporations?

    • Defenestratus

      I know right.

      I didn’t like it when I lost my unlimited data on Verizon, so I told them to sod off and went to T-mobile.

      Easy free market solution.

      You don’t like what Verizon’s doing then go find a wireless carrier who you can get along with.

      If Tom Wheeler were really interested in the consumer, he’d break down barriers to entry for new wireless carriers wanting to get into the fray. The more players in the nationwide wireless service market, the less bullcrap Verizon can get away with. If you depend on the government to force the companies to do what it is that you want them to do, the companies are just going to find another way to do what it is they want to do.

      • 213ninja

        i don’t like what verizon is doing but they are the only network worth my money in my area…

      • Michael Hammond

        I don’t agree with VZW either, as I am one of the 5% with Unlimited Data, but in my area, they have the best coverage and best data speeds even WITH throttling …. Tmo and Sprint suck inside buildings, though Tmo is mostly good in larger cities; ATT can wank off for all I care as its shoddy service drops calls in the most populated areas …..

      • Josh

        The free market solution also includes feedback by customers. Leaving a company at the drop of a pin doesn’t actually affect that company’s bottom line; there are always others to replace that customer. However, if the customer base appeals to a higher authority, or a regulatory agency sees a company breaking the law, because said company isn’t responding to customer needs, then the company is forced to respond and take action. We pay telcos for the use of service and we don’t expect to be discriminated against because we aren’t an “average” customer.

        Besides, what do you expect people who have no choice in wireless carrier to do, be taken advantage of without recourse?

      • Big EZ

        Actually that’s not an option for most. We are limited because we don’t have a free market. A free market would fix the problem, but this market is heavily regulated, and it’s how Verizon keeps a monopoly. If you have regulations on buying and selling, the first thing to be bought and sold are the regulators.

  • Jonathan Williams

    I thought XLTE was supposed to optimize the network.

    • RaptorOO7

      Optimize the network, unlikely. In my area of NY I find AT&T is 3-5 times faster than Verizon is. Verizon’s LTE is a joke speed wise.

      • Jonathan Williams

        Calling the throttle soon after releasing this is quite the bs

  • Ahku Droid

    Verizon is like a crack dealer that gives you a taste of the good stuff, gets you hooked on high speed media anywhere at any time, then quadruples the price.

    If I am buying a phone at full retail, they can kiss my ass.

    • Gary Graf

      Same with their FIOS plans too

      • Pakmann2k

        FIOS is half the reasoning behind all of this. They want to ensure you buy both, not choose one or the other. Unlimited data on your phone, skip FIOS. Rocking FIOS at home, use wifi on the phone. They want everyone right in the middle paying for both.

  • DC_Guy

    Chairman Wheeler FTW!!!

  • SeanPlunk

    Wheeler is a former lobbyist and the chief reason net neutrality is still an issue so I don’t have high hopes, but I’m glad somebody is looking into this.

    • C-Law

      This is exactly what worries me too. He’s probably been paid millions by Verizon over the years so there’s no way he cares about net neutrality or unlimited data. He’s saying one thing to please the public but he will do the opposite or nothing at all and Verizon will get everything they want in the end bc most of the public and our elected government officials dont care enough to actually take action

      • Pakmann2k

        This is exactly the kind of story this adminitration would love to grab a hold of.
        “When coorporate giants get greedy and try and opress good tax paying citizens like those folks over at Verizon. It is us, the government, that will be there to stand in the way and tell them, enough is enough. We will ensure justice is done. By the way, you are welcome.”
        – B. Obama

        • KleenDroid

          Obama Phone!

  • Zachary Wood

    I love this man!

  • Bob

    Bad ass! Get em!

  • Such

    I bet Wheeler’s got an unlimited data plan on Verizon haha

    • nabooska

      This was my exact thought when I first read the title haha

      • Regulation

        And this is just another reason among thousands, why Telecomm’s need to be regulated heavily, because they make up the rules as they see fit when ever it suits them to do so without rhyme or reason or just plain greed.

        Corporations in the US need to be regulated as much as they are in the EU, UK, and Canada.

        • OnlyNexus

          Another reason? Did Verizon violate any laws? Did they violate any contracts? Quit whining and running to the government when you feel something isn’t “fair.” Go to another carrier. I have Verizon/unlimited and I’m saying this.

          • TonyK

            Violate any laws? No. Worm their way around into limiting and (probably) eliminating unlimited plans? Yes. VZW is inventing definitions that suit its purpose. Top 5% of users are at 4.7GB/mo? Only because everyone else buys plans that are from 250mg – 2gb (4gb for double data folks). So VZW has *created* this “heavy user” category. And now that the category exists VZW is targeting it (us). And *if* VZW has done everything on the up-and-up why is the FCC calling them out?
            If the new rules don’t affect you, good. Lucky for you. I use about 5gb of data per month. That’s all straight mobile data. And honestly, not a whole heck of a lot of it.
            Maybe you’re just playing devil’s advocate, and that’s fine. But don’t try to tell me VZW’s practices are all above board.

          • Alan


          • Willie D

            The Top 5% definition is arbitrary anyway. If Verizon thinks that only 5% of their data users go over, fine, prove it. Let the other 95% have unlimited data plans if you feel 95% wont go over 4.7GB anyway. I mean, why do carriers say “Most users wont go over (insert arbitrary amount here) but then claim that unlimited data plans arent needed. If thats true, then why not offer unlimited anyway? Because they know that they are purposely, systematically brainwashing people into thinking that this number is realistic, it is not. Unlimited data users truly use 5-10GB data on average, some more, some less. On top of this, giving a 2GB – 4GB data deal at a decent price, and by decent I mean, at the same price as unlimited data was previously, artificially caps users into that again, I say this word, arbitrary amount that carriers play off as Top 5%. Lets be real here!

          • Alan

            Yours is the same kind of thinking that led to bank deregulation. Where did that get us?

          • Vincenzo Roberto
          • Willie D

            Clearly you didnt understand the C-Block rules then. The government is (the FCC in particular) letting Verizon know, in a warning letter, that they may be in violation of the rules in place, agreed to when they bid. No one is running to the government, as this was all done by the FCC to start with. However, the rules are fair, and the public has every right to discuss it openly, and you have all right to think its unfair that a consumer is voicing the reminder to the rule and reminding the FCC to take action – that is certainly in your right, but know you are wrong in your suggestion. You being a Verizon customer, unlimited or not, does not negate this, nor give you extra right to critique.

        • Vincenzo Roberto

          The government is already causing the lack of competition by making the
          barrier to entry so high. More regulation will just make things worse.
          If you want regulation move to North Korea, they’ll decide everything
          for all of their citizens who likely don’t even have electric in many

  • Ben Murphy

    Verizon! Please do tell.

  • KleenDroid

    I’m not so thrilled myself.

    I have 5 lines and pay a lot of money paying full price for my phones to have my data throttled also.

    Not cool Verizon.

    • Christopher Moore

      If you didn’t see this coming you’re naive.

      • Mech_Engr_09

        Stfu assholee. Someone’s mad they don’t have unlimited and are stuck using t mobiles useless network

        • Christopher Moore

          You’re half right. I’m on Verizon tiered plan. Decided that I’m not paying full price for a phone with no decrease in monthly payments. And then to have Verizon pull the rug from under your feet with a crap move for unlimited users.
          So basically you paid full phone price for throttled data at 5gigs no less. I’m not mad; this change doesn’t effect me.

          • Keith


        • KMS_Alex

          You sound like a 12 year old.

        • RaptorOO7

          If you abuse your network connection you deserve to be throttled, if you violate the TOS by rooting your device and tethering you deserve to be throttled. Verizon should simply do a way with all unlimited plans period. Its not like they would take a hit on their user base anyways.

          BTW I don’t have unlimited data and I could care less about unlimited data I don’t use more than 2-3GB a month and I pay for my data plans accordingly.

          • antinorm

            You “could care less” about unlimited data? That means you do care about it.

          • KMS_Alex

            This always makes me smile, but to be fair he could car a very very small amount. Obviously he cars slight about it if he bothered to spend time typing about it.

          • New_Guy

            That was a Freudian slip 🙂

          • Turb0wned

            Abuse network? You are paying for unlimited data, meaning, use how ever much you want.

          • d-rock

            Not if you’re violating TOS by doing things like tethering, which most unlimited users on here seem to be doing and seem to be the most upset about losing.

          • KleenDroid

            I simply choose to keep the unlimited plan they sold me and they allow me to keep if I pay for it.

            I abuse nothing. How can you abuse the plan if it is unlimited?

          • d-rock

            You’re not tethering?

          • KleenDroid


          • michael steinmetz

            i actually dont tether at all and use roughly 80-100 gigs a month so ill be throttled even though im “following guidelines”

          • Mickey A Valentine

            Same here; YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, heck even playing my Google play music. Besides, if it possible to root *cough gnex* and tether then I will do so. But I never used more than 6 gigs thethering. I use 100+ gigs a month just going about my everyday life right now. I bought and plan to keep the unlimited because its unlimited. If 76 gas station gave me free gas for life, and decided 30 years later started “throttling” me, that’s just wrong.

          • You so not use 100gigs on those apps. I watch Netflix, use both play music and Pandora as well as YouTube and I stay within my 5gb T-Mobile limit. Even if you use it a ton more than I do I can’t see you hitting that much with regular daily use.

          • Mickey A Valentine

            I listen to Pandora 24/7 mate, that’s just some of what I do: manage ebayebay, send emails, manage my stocks, surf the web, online mobile gaming, etc. The only time I use like under 40 gigs is if the lady wishes to see movies in the theater that month.

          • Kisuk3

            You should be banned from this site.

          • Big EZ

            If Verizon should just get rid of the unlimited plans, then Droid Life should get rid of the douche bags. All I take from their comments is how jealous they are.

          • Kisuk3


          • Big EZ

            What do you consider “abusing your network connection”? I agree about free tethering as that is against the terms you/we signed (unless you pay for it), but using more than 4.7 gb of data is not abusing the network. It’s unlimited, not unlimited* unless you go over 4.7 gb.

          • DanThompson87

            $30 a month add on for 2GB is pure rapeage. in today’s world 2GB is nothing. Verizon needs to up its plans by at least 400%.

          • JRomeo

            I have unlimited data and I couldn’t care less about other plans, I don’t use more than unlimited data per month, and I pay for my unlimited data plan accordingly.

    • axis_power

      Same here. Not to mention that with towel+pie and entitlement I can finally tether on my non-dev version moto x. Now, that tether speed is going to reduced, which is basically the whole reason I have stayed under the grandfather clause.

      • d-rock

        Let me pull out my violin here over you losing your newly found ability to cheat your service provider. (and I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it too. I just wouldn’t publicly display my anger toward them over preventing it.)

        • athom07

          He technically is not cheating anyone. He is paying for unlimited data, and using it.

          • d-rock

            He’s not paying to tether. Last time I checked, that was against Terms of Service for unlimited plans. So exactly how is that not cheating…technically of course?

          • Chris Hannan

            No it isn’t. I pay for unlimited tethering and now I’m going to be throttled, too.

          • axis_power

            Silly how they offer free tethering for people who don’t have enough data to utilize it :/

          • Willie D

            I get 3GB per line to tether on my T-Mobile Unlimited 4G Data plans (these are the unlimited high speed plans, not the 1GB, 3GB and 5GB plans) – Which I rarely if ever have used. But I feel 3GB is enough to use if I wanted for basic stuff. This data is NOT shared in my plan unlike the other ones, like 1GB 3GB and 5GB are shared, and combined usage. If you go over those plans, your tethering slows. Mine just stops completely. Not sure how Verizon users with 2-4GB shared could fare better, since they dont slow down, they just get charged overages.

          • Willie D

            Look up the 700Mhz C-Block Auction Open Network Rules. As much as Verizon wants to claim it is against the Terms and Service for unlimited plans, if hes doing it over LTE on 700Mhz, he is breaking no rules, and legally has all the right to do so, even can take Verizon to court over them blocking, or throttling him for it, as that in itself is the violation of the rules of the auction. Morally, if you feel it is cheating, fine, but legally, hes allowed to do so.

          • d-rock

            While they can’t discriminate based off the unlimited, they can eliminate the unlimited plan if there’s no contract. This will be the next step if the throttling doesn’t go through.

        • Willie D

          Technically, regardless if you like it or not, or think its cheating the carrier or not, he is allowed to do so, and Verizon cant stop it, its the rules of the 700Mhz C Block Auction. He is allowed to do so, without being limited or punished for doing so. Him displaying his anger over it is completely justified, as a consumer using the rules set into place.

          • d-rock

            I’m sure Verizon is well aware of the rules and going to do what it can to glide around the rules of the 700Mhz C Block rules. And honestly, I can’t blame them. Personally, I think they are stupid for allowing grandfathered data plans to even hop on LTE. They could have prevented this mess a long time ago. It would have sucked, but you can’t complain about something you never had. Giving something and then taking it away is going to hurt them much worse.

            Either the FCC accept this or Verizon will be forced down a much harsher road. They will kill off unlimited for any non contract client.

    • T4rd

      I would put one of those lines on a tiered data plan so you can transfer upgrades to it, then renew all the other line’s contracts with unlimited data while getting new phones at subsidized prices.

      • KleenDroid

        I was willing to do hat with one of the lines but it would have raised or bill too much. Over the course of two years I would have paid for the phone anyway.

        I have the promo where I have unlimited data for $10 per line.

  • yummy

    One of the amazing facts is that Verizon acheived 5%=4.67GB. They acheived this by egregiously gouging on thei data rates, so nobody but unlimited can afford more then a couple gigs a month. Great rechnoligy, great phones, then you geniuses put it all in the hands of the cretins at Verizon. Guess what, they ruined it. You better spank them hard FCC, or this disastrous situation will continue its downward sprial. Unlimit OUR data and unleash the technology. Verizon is the barrier to sensible mobile activity.

    • Gary Graf

      Plus they’re still profiting billions of dollars

  • Tony Byatt

    The incoming check will have him changing his tune…


  • Character0

    Its kind of messed up they are saying tiered data > 5GB is not affected, but out of contract unlimited is. I would like to see the answers to these questions.

  • lasthought

    This is gonna get interesting.

  • Ryan Dombroski

    Shots fired lol

  • NeilOMalley

    So when its broadband he doesn’t care about throttling and fast lanes but when it comes to wireless he does?

    • Or maybe he just hates Verizon. 😛

      • sc4fpse

        I can relate.

      • Stephen Cox

        Or Verizon hasn’t paid him off yet.

      • Frettfreak

        Wasn’t it Verizon that made Netflix pay to not be throttled to users though?

    • jimcvit
  • LiterofCola

    Oh snaps! Chet just got real.

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      hope something actually happens,though it’s unlikely…

    • ArrowCool

      Indeed. Chet did get real.

      • Lucky Armpit

        I bet the vast majority of young people have no idea what that is without a Google search. Best coming of age movie… ever!

        • vzwuser76

          His laugh is the best.

          • Jason Downing

            Definitely, but he’s a dick.

        • DanThompson87

          what is it?

          • EC8CH

            weird science

            *no google search needed*

        • Jason Downing

          GREAT movie. This movie actually came on not too long ago. After the movie, I threw on the Best o’ Boingo album haha.